Federalist Society hosts “Global Warming: Will Science or Fear Rule?”

Published: February 16th, 2009

Category: News

Although the planet is warming, there is no reason to freak out about it, said Becky Norton Dunlop.

Dunlop was brought to campus by the UF Chapter of The Federalist Society to speak about the global warming crisis, or lack thereof. She serves as Vice President of External Relations at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

“Is the earth warming? Yes, yes it is,” said Dunlop, who also served as chairwoman of the Federal Services Impasse Panel under President George W. Bush. “Has it warmed in the past? Has it cooled in the past? Yes, these things happen. They are cyclical in nature. We have evidence of this, real evidence.”

Dunlop argued that while the planet is warming, there is no evidence that shows humans are causing the change. She assaulted computer modeling that shows a warming crisis, dismissing it as pseudo-science.

Real science is about testing a theory out until it is proven true, Dunlop said. “Keep in mind that computer models can’t explain past weather changes, nor are they very good at predicting future weather changes,” Dunlop said. “We know that because we watch the weather on a regular basis and about half the time the weatherman is wrong. How do you think the weatherman predicts the weather? They use computer models.”

Dunlop said there are many other reasons why the planet is warming, including the sun, oceans and volcanoes.

Because global warming is natural, Dunlop does not buy into the doomsday hype. Regardless, she said we should work toward developing new energy.

“First, smart people should not buy into this crisis scenario,” Dunlop said. “Secondly, we need to all understand that man, as important as man is, is not the controlling factor in climate change. Third, it is certainly true that we need to be looking for and encouraging all kinds of new energy.”

Dunlop advocated nuclear energy, saying that France gets 70 percent of its energy from nuclear sources without a problem. She said that there are many problems with wind power that need to be further studied and argued against ethanol. She said the government giving corn farmers subsidies for ethanol is encouraging farmers to switch to corn from other important crops, but America still can’t produce enough ethanol to make a difference.

“Ethanol comes from corn, and corn is food,” Dunlop said. “I think it is much more cost-effective and much more logical to use the corn we produce to feed people.” The bottom line is that the country needs to rely on good science to formulate a plan for climate change, Dunlop said.

“First of all, science must inform public policy – not pseudo-science, not fear-mongering, not trying to scare people into doing things that are unwise,” she said.